Son of war crimes fugitive Karadzic ordered to leave Serbia: official

Top war crimes fugitive Radovan Karadzic's son Sasa has been ordered to leave Serbia and banned from returning for a year, an official reportedly said Saturday.

Son of war crimes fugitive Karadzic ordered to leave Serbia: official
Sasa Karadzic, who was detained in Belgrade on Friday "for an identity check," should leave Serbia within three days, said Rasim Ljajic, Serbia's minister in charge of cooperation with the Hague-based UN war crimes tribunal.

"It was established that his identity card was not in accordance with Serbia's law and it was taken away from him," Ljajic told the Beta news agency.

Sasa Karadzic was visiting his five-year-old son who had undergone hip surgery at a Belgrade hospital when he was detained by "special police," his sister Sonja Jovicevic Karadzic told AFP on Friday.

"This is only about the continuation of pressure on our family. The arrest over alleged checking of identity is only an excuse for further harassment," she said, adding that her brother had been under police surveillance since he arrived in Belgrade at the end of August.

Karadzic's two children live in Pale, the Bosnian Serb wartime stronghold near Sarajevo.

Bosnian Serb wartime leader Karadzic and his former military chief, Ratko Mladic, have been on the run from the UN war crimes court in The Hague for 12 years since being charged with crimes committed during Bosnia's 1992-1995 war.

The two face genocide charges over the 1995 massacre of some 8,000 Muslims in the enclave of Srebrenica.

Earlier Friday police in Pale briefly detained Kosta Cavoski, a legal expert known as a close Karadzic family friend, and questioned him about the fugitive's wherebouts.

Karadzic is believed to be hiding in the Serb-controlled part of Bosnia, or in a remote part of neighbouring Montenegro where he spent his childhood.

Police in Bosnia and neighbouring Montenegro often search houses belonging to Karadzic's relatives.

Authorities in Belgrade have pledged to step up their efforts to hunt fugitives in a bid to gain a pre-membership deal with the European Union.

The EU froze pre-membership talks for 13 months due to Serbia's alleged lack of cooperation with the tribunal. Talks resumed on June 13 following the arrest in late May of former Bosnian Serb general Zdravko Tolimir, indicted on genocide charges.

UN war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte was due to visit Belgrade later this month to establish how well Belgrade was cooperating with the tribunal.

Besides Karadzic and Mladic, two more suspects remain at large: former Croatian Serb leader Goran Hadzic and Stojan Zupljanin, a Bosnian Serb wartime police commander, both believed to be hiding in Serbia.

Last Mod: 16 Eylül 2007, 12:18
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